ISU’s contrasting coordinators

One is a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed youngster, bringing a frenetic offensive pace that he’s hoping is exactly the approach Iowa State needs to keep up with its Big 12 competitors. 

The other has been coached successful defenses in three of the six BCS conferences, played for Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama and qualifies for senior discounts. 

Tom Herman and Wally Burnham are now the cornerstones of ISU’s rebuilding effort under new head coach Paul Rhoads. 

Cyclone fans should be awfully pleased by that.

Herman is a bright offensive mind that broke a slew of records in his two seasons at Rice. I spoke wih him briefly following ISU’s signing day press conference and he’s an impressive guy.

Very smart, too. He holds a B.S. in business administration, a Masters of Education and is a member of Mensa.

Burnham spent the last nine seasons at South Florida, helping turn that program into one of the best in the Big East. Six of the last seven years the Bulls’ defense ranked among the top 30 nationally.

Burnham also was South Carolina’s defensive coordinator and assistant head coach (1994-98) and coached linebackers at Florida State for nine years under the legendary Bobby Bowden. The Seminoles won a national championship in 1993, Burnham’s final season.

The gray-haired, 67-year-old has tutored some stud linebackers over the years, including Derrick Brooks, Marvin Jones, Paul McGowan and Kawika Mitchell.

Both of ISU’s coordinators also have great recruiting ties to talent-rich areas.

Herman, 33, has spent his entire coaching career in the state of Texas and shouldn’t have much trouble convincing receivers or quarterbacks they won’t have fun playing his brand of offense.

Burnham helped build South Florida into a consistent winner and a fearsome defense primarily with in-state players. Rhoads hopes that can pay dividends on the recruiting trail.

“Wally knows the Florida high schools like no other man,” Rhoads said.

With the hiring Wednesday of Courtney Messingham — a Waterloo native, former Northern Iowa player and most recently the offensive coordinator for former ISU and UNI coach Terry Allen at Missouri State — Rhoads’ coaching staff is nearly complete.

Iowa State fans should be ecstatic in getting Herman and Burnham. They’ve shown they can get it done at other places. Can their schemes win here in Ames?

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